Julianne Moore: my gift to my late mum

My gift to my late mum

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - CONTENTS -

PAS­SION, PATHOS AND locked-in anx­i­ety are all in a day’s work for Julianne Moore, emo­tions she has es­ca­lated to al­most Shake­spearean heights in a ca­reer that at 55 seems only to be gath­er­ing pace. At that mid­dle age when many ac­tresses com­plain they are fad­ing into un­em­ploy­ment, Julianne pock­eted her first Os­car last year (for her haunt­ing por­trayal of an early Alzheimer’s vic­tim in Still Alice). Yet, work aside, what is even more sur­pris­ing is that be­hind that breath­tak­ingly flaw­less al­abaster skin – which also has a ca­reer of its own by the way, thanks to Julianne’s ap­point­ment as a global am­bas­sador for L’Oréal Paris (yes, she’s worth it!) – and those pow­er­ful act­ing chops, is a hands-on and rather mumsy mum, for whom hav­ing chil­dren was never in ques­tion and home-mak­ing is a pri­vate in­fat­u­a­tion.

“I am very do­mes­tic, it’s true,” says Julianne, laugh­ing. “I’m not much of a cook. I al­ways like to say I as­sem­ble

Julianne Moore was dev­as­tated when her mum died sud­denly at 68, but she is still very much with the Os­car win­ner. In a can­did in­ter­view, the 55-yearold L’Oréal am­bas­sador talks to Juliet Rieden about family, be­ing a home­body and why she would never have cos­metic surgery.

food, I don’t cook it. Cook­ing ut­terly con­founds me – I don’t have the pa­tience for it. But I do love my house and I like to make it nice, and I’m re­ally good at clean­ing up and tak­ing care of peo­ple. I’m good when peo­ple are sick and I like to think I’m a good mother. I like hav­ing a home, I like hav­ing a family, it’s all im­por­tant to me.”

Julianne lives in Los An­ge­les with film direc­tor hus­band Bart Fre­undlich, who is 10 years her ju­nior, and their two chil­dren Caleb, 18, and Liv, 14, and as we speak is stuck in grid­lock traf­fic head­ing up­town to col­lect her daugh­ter from lacrosse prac­tice.

“My kids are both pretty sporty,” she says. “My son loves to play bas­ket­ball and we’re al­ways at one tour­na­ment or another. I don’t think they’ll fol­low us [into movies]. The other day, I said to my hus­band, ‘Why are we never go­ing to the play? Why are we al­ways go­ing to the game?’”

Al­though she waited un­til she was 37 to have her first child, Julianne says kids and a family were “su­per im­por­tant”

and al­ways the non-ne­go­tiable key to her life plan. “I thought every­body felt this way, but from the time I was a lit­tle girl, I knew that I was go­ing to grow up and I was go­ing to have a boy and a girl,” she says. “No mat­ter what, that’s what I was go­ing to do. That was one of the things I re­ally was sure about. I re­ally wanted it. I wanted chil­dren and I wanted to have a boy and a girl, and I would say to them, I got what I wanted, I was re­ally lucky.”

While it may sound as if Julianne has fol­lowed a charmed ex­is­tence, di­alling up her wishes only to have them granted in some sort of ‘ta-da’ Cin­derella act, don’t be fooled… there have been con­sid­er­able road­blocks on the way. The ac­tress’ first mar­riage to ac­tor-direc­tor John Gould Ru­bin didn’t work out and while her ca­reer soared, Julianne spent her early 30s sin­gle and lonely, head­ing for ther­apy to wrench her life back on track. What she learnt, she says, is, “You have to make your per­sonal life hap­pen as much as your ca­reer.

“I got mar­ried very young and I think a lot of it was just not know­ing any bet­ter,” she ex­plains. “By the time Bart and I got mar­ried, we al­ready had two chil­dren and we’d been to­gether for seven years. So I didn’t re­ally have any kind of ap­pre­hen­sion [sec­ond time around]. I re­ally, re­ally wanted it [mar­riage]. I think we both did.”

Julianne’s guid­ing light was her mother, Anne Smith, who died sud­denly and un­ex­pect­edly seven years ago from sep­tic shock. It was a dev­as­tat­ing time for Julianne. Anne went to bed and never woke up, after suf­fer­ing from a mas­sive bac­te­rial in­fec­tion. She was just 68. “My mother was an ex­cel­lent mother. She taught me that it was im­por­tant to have some­thing I cared about for my­self, my own ca­reer, and that it was also im­por­tant to have a family that I loved.”

The Smith family of mum Anne, dad Peter and three kids – Julie Anne (as she was born), Va­lerie and Peter – were a tight, close-knit unit. They had to be, since Peter’s job as a De­fence Force he­li­copter pi­lot and para­trooper saw the family cat­a­pult around Amer­ica. Julie Anne at­tended nine schools be­tween the ages of five and 18, and while the con­stant shift­ing made friend­ships dif­fi­cult, it was a dy­na­mite ed­u­ca­tion for a fu­ture ac­tor.

“There are so many ac­tors who come from peri­patetic up­bring­ings,” says Julianne, laugh­ing. “There’s some­thing about it that makes you a great ob­server of hu­man be­hav­iour and re­ally makes you adapt­able. You’re able to adapt to any sit­u­a­tion and you feel con­fi­dent and com­fort­able.

“My hus­band now makes these jokes that I’m very com­fort­able in new places. He grew up in New York City and he’s com­fort­able in ev­ery sin­gle so­cial sit­u­a­tion – go to any cock­tail party, talk to peo­ple, what­ever – but make him go to the air­port and get on a plane, and go some­where where they don’t speak English and he’ll lose his mind. On the con­trary, I love the travel – there’s noth­ing more ex­cit­ing to me than go­ing some­where I’ve never been be­fore. I don’t care if I don’t speak the lan­guage; I know I’ll fig­ure stuff out. But so­cially, oh my gosh! So there are things you de­velop, mov­ing around, and then there are things you don’t de­velop.”

Julianne in­her­ited her fair skin and red hair from her mum’s Scottish side of the family and when Anne died, the ac­tress was des­per­ate to con­nect to her mother’s her­itage, for her­self, but also as a gift to her late mum. “When my mother be­came a US cit­i­zen, she had to re­nounce her UK cit­i­zen­ship. It broke her heart. She would come home cry­ing. I still re­mem­ber it.”

Anne was just 20 when Julie Anne was born and mother and daugh­ter were very close. Be­fore she died, the Bri­tish rules changed, al­low­ing Julianne to claim cit­i­zen­ship through her mother’s her­itage. She planned to go ahead both for work, but also for Anne. “Then my mother passed away sud­denly and it was aw­ful, ab­so­lutely aw­ful,” Julianne says. “So I ended up get­ting my cit­i­zen­ship. My sis­ter did it, too, sub­se­quently. It was for Mum be­cause she never had that and she would have loved it. It’s some­thing that I’m very proud and happy to have be­cause of my mother.”

“You have to make your per­sonal life hap­pen as much as your ca­reer.”

Julianne’s red hair, com­plex­ion and freck­les are a con­stant warm re­minder of Anne, al­though as a child she wasn’t so happy about it. “When I was lit­tle, we lived a lot in the Mid­west and the South, places where they didn’t have a lot of red­heads. Most of the kids were very tanned and blond or had dark hair, so I was un­usual. I ab­so­lutely hated hav­ing red hair, I wanted to look like ev­ery­one else,” she says, laugh­ing. “When Mum came to the United States when she was a teenager, she had a ter­ri­ble, ter­ri­ble sun­burn that landed her in the hospi­tal and so she never let us stay at the beach very long or go out­side for very long. It felt like tor­ture when we were kids, but it re­ally saved my skin.”

It’s also why Julianne was the ob­vi­ous choice to be the new face of Re­nais­sance Cel­lu­laire, L’Oréal’s anti-age­ing range aimed at women over 50 who, in L’Oréal’s words, don’t want plas­tic surgery. Julianne is the per­fect ex­em­plar for the prod­uct and is quick to add that her cleans­ing, mois­tur­is­ing and daily sun­screen (“I’ve used it since I was 23”) rou­tine is her se­cret weapon, plus a killer mas­cara and blush – saviours for fair skin.

Yet, in years to come, would she con­sider a nip and tuck? “I’m an ac­tress so I don’t want to have plas­tic surgery. It just would be a detri­ment to what I do for a liv­ing. It’s not for me,” she says.

Keep­ing fit is another se­cret weapon, which for Julianne is all about yoga. “I’ve done weightlift­ing, I used to run a lot, I went through a Pi­lates phase, I went through the go­ing to ex­er­cise class stage, I’ve done it all and found that even­tu­ally all of it puts me in bad moods and makes me grumpy,” she con­fesses. “The only thing that hasn’t so far is yoga. I re­ally en­joy it, I re­ally look for­ward to it. I like the quiet that I have when I do it.”

And does she feel dif­fer­ent men­tally as she’s got older? “That’s a com­pli­cated ques­tion be­cause you hear peo­ple say again and again, ‘I don’t feel any dif­fer­ent than I did, I’m still the same per­son I was when I was 20.’ I do agree with that in that your es­sen­tial self doesn’t change, but I’d like to think that I’m sig­nif­i­cantly more aware of the world, of other peo­ple, of my sur­round­ings, and I can bet­ter take the tem­per­a­ture of what’s go­ing on. I’m much more still and much more present now than I was in my 20s.”

For­tu­nately for us, Julianne Moore is likely to be present in movies for many years to come and de­spite the per­ceived lack of roles for women of a cer­tain age, feels pos­i­tive about her fu­ture. “Judi Dench just won her eighth Olivier award and I think things are chang­ing. I see women who are com­mand­ing an au­di­ence and I think the au­di­ences are in­ter­ested in see­ing them. I cer­tainly know what I want to see. I want to see women. I want to see women my age.”

“I ab­so­lutely hated hav­ing red hair. I wanted to look like ev­ery­one else.”

Julianne with her daugh­ter, Liv, and (above) with Liv, Bart and Caleb.

Above: A beam­ing Julianne after win­ning her first Best Ac­tress Os­car last year for Still Alice. Left: At the 2015 Cannes Film Festival.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.